PLANS for a new Fish Quay in Teignmouth have reached another milestone with news of a £450,000 European grant.
Fishermen behind the project to revamp the Gales Hill area of the harbour have been told of a promise by the European Fisheries Fund to part fund the £900,000 project.
It match funds £450,000 from Devon County Council as part of the Investing in Devon fund.
The news has been welcomed by Teignmouth mayor Cllr David Cox.
He said: "This is really good news for all Teignmouth not just the fishing industry.
"The EU wants a few tweaks to the plan and there are a few more things to sort out over land ownership. However, another important milestone has been reached."
The extension and enhancement plans have been put forward by the Teign Fishermen's and Watermen's Association with support from Teignbridge Council, the Teign estuary partnership, county and town councils.
Nigel Roberts, president of the Teign Fishermen and Waterman's Association, said: "This offer, in principle, is a great Christmas present for the local industry, but we all recognise there will be a lot of detailed and often difficult work to turn this news into the facility we are all working towards.
"The scheme offers modern landing facilities for the Teignmouth boats, better maintenance space as well as better security for the shore-based dependant jobs and opportunities for public facilities."
A vision to develop new facilities at the Fish Quay has been in the pipeline for years.
In January Teignbridge Council's executive agreed to give officer time to help the Teign Fishermen's and Watermen's Association's vision to redevelop the marine operating base.
The scheme includes the building of a new fishing quay at Gales Hill and the replacement of an old existing wooden jetty.
The new facilities will enable better handling and a quicker turnaround for local boats, which, together with new and direct access for vehicles, means the catch will be brought to market quicker and in better condition.
Cllr Sylvia Russell is Teignbridge Council's executive spokesman for tourism and chairman of the Teign Estuary Partnership.
She said: "Everybody talks about the bigger ports like Brixham and Grimsby, but we still have a viable industry here and this will very much help to support it.
"It will also provide better access for passengers and that can only be a good thing for tourism."
There are three phases to the Fish Quay project, the first of which, outline planning permission, was secured in September 2010.
It is hoped the revamp will safeguard jobs and allow other marine businesses, such as rowing and boating schools, to thrive.